Gransnet forums


Flat battery?

(16 Posts)
Cabbie21 Sat 18-Apr-20 14:22:18

I am not using my car these days. Last week it started with no problem and I did a short run, driving a bit further than I needed with a view to charging the battery.
Today it won’t start at all, so I wonder if my journey actually made it worse?
I do have Home Start on my breakdown cover, but is there any point? We are not supposed to be making unnecessary journeys. I was going to collect my share of a delivery from my daughter’s house. Now they will have to bring it to me.

Charleygirl5 Sat 18-Apr-20 14:26:24

I am going out shopping once a week and I drive a tad further for that very reason and to date I have not had a problem.

I would get Home Start's opinion because you may be doing your car more harm by not moving it for months. I know zilch about cars- hence you need a professional opinion. I am applying common sense.

Cabbie21 Sat 18-Apr-20 14:36:31

Yes, thanks, Charleygirl5, that is why I gave it a short run last week. It is also not good for a car to be sitting on the same but of tyre tread for a long time. Last week I checked that that the electric windows were working, but did not use lights or wipers. I think it needs a longer weekly run than the five miles I did last week.

Purpledaffodil Sat 18-Apr-20 14:39:49

Problem is, would this count as an unnecessary journey? Know of people in Surrey who encountered a police road block when heading out to deliver a new toy for GC. They turned round and went home! 😀

ninathenana Sat 18-Apr-20 15:07:11

That is the dilemma isn't it purple

Cabbie21 Sat 18-Apr-20 15:24:10

Exactly, which is why I offered to fetch my shopping delivery today, as the items are essential. I planned to take a longer route than strictly necessary, including a stretch of dual carriageway which would have helped to charge the battery.

Charleygirl5 Sat 18-Apr-20 15:44:54

I think there is a difference in delivering a toy or battery charging. Any half-decent policeman would allow the battery charging car to go by. I cannot see it happening in my part of London.

Many moons ago I learned that one had to drive at least 15 miles, no radio, heater etc on and if possible not stopping at traffic lights! The latter is a tad unreasonable and impossible in my neck of the woods.

Tangerine Sat 18-Apr-20 15:48:38

Have you tried putting your foot on the clutch, handbrake on and turning the key as you really put your foot on the accelerator?

I hope it splutters into life for you.

M0nica Sat 18-Apr-20 16:59:21

Right from the start of the lock down we have taken each of our cars for a ride of at least 15 miles. One journey is to the supermarket using the scenic route. The other was a round journey with no stops. Now with the new 'clarification of the Guildines, we will drive about 10 miles to go for a walk and then drive home again.

Another reason we do this is also to keep our driving skills honed. Imagine, for over 70s, three months (minimum) no driving, Anyoned who thinks they can then leap into a car and drive as well and with distance anticipation skills as good after a 3 month break is kidding themselves. It will only take a couple of drives to get back on track but in the meantime, how many accidents will there be?

I appreciate those in the shielded group have no choice, but if you are not, find a reason for a weekly short drive.

V3ra Sat 18-Apr-20 18:43:02

Anyone feeling nervous about driving again after a long break can book a couple of refresher lessons with a driving instructor.
Dad (89) did this when he moved to our town after Mum died.
The instructor was the lady my sons had passed their tests with, so I knew her.
She assessed Dad's driving, which she was happy with which in turn gave him confidence, and guided him round a new town road system which he was unfamiliar with.

annodomini Sat 18-Apr-20 19:48:35

I might regret this but my car has been out of action or periods of 4 - 6 weeks a number of times: after I had my hip replaced; surgery on my hand; part replacement of shoulder; fractured shoulder; and several trips to New Zealand. I never had any trouble starting it again. It's still the same and now quite elderly, Toyota Yaris. OMG, I hope it works this time!

M0nica Sat 18-Apr-20 21:46:58

annodomini. I have a Yaris, they are the best cars ever. I have had mine 12 years, it is 17 years old. It has never broken down and always passed its MOT without a problem. Unless the battery dies. It will start first time.

infoman Sun 19-Apr-20 18:32:21

As others have said push your clutch to the floor,when about turning the engine over.
This week its getting warmer so give the start a chance as their will be very little moisture in the air and in and around your battery
I think you could disconnect the battery and put the battery on charge while still in its cradle? then at least it is not be discharging.
Another suggestion if you live on a "slope" point the car down hill,at least people are prepared to push you down hill if you need a bump start

Cabbie21 Tue 21-Apr-20 14:51:22

Thanks for the various bits of advice. Nothing worked, I’m sorry to say, so this morning I rang my breakdown cover ( fortunately it includes home start). They came out within the hour and he started the battery, and advised me to go for a drive. We have a dual carriageway nearby so I did a circuit on that for about 25 minutes.
The chap advised me to start the car at least once a Week, and just sit in it with the engine running. Unfortunately short journeys ( my last one was about five miles ) do more harm than good.
Hope this helps someone else too.

Luckygirl Tue 21-Apr-20 14:56:01

The problem with a short run is that you use more electricity starting it than you generate by driving it. My SIL is a car mechanic and he comes over every fortnight and charges my battery via extension lead from the house - just to keep it topped up.

Cabbie21 Tue 21-Apr-20 15:02:50

Yes indeed. I should have said he advised me to keep the engine running for about half an hour.